The pharmaceutical company Janssen, who produce a range of myeloma medicines, have today announced their application to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for a license extension for daratumumab. This license extension, if approved by the EMA, would allow the use of subcutaneous (under the skin) daratumumab (Darzalex®) in myeloma patients.
Daratumumab is a monoclonal antibody, which works by targeting CD38, which is expressed on myeloma cells. It is currently administered through an intravenous (IV – through the vein) drip in patients and is licenced by the EMA in the following settings:
- As a monotherapy (on its own) for heavily pre-treated myeloma patients
- In combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone for relapsed myeloma patients
- In combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone for relapsed myeloma patients
- In combination with bortezomib, melphalan and prednisone for the treatment of adult patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who are ineligible for autologous stem cell transplant
The license extension would apply to all currently approved settings of daratumumab, allowing daratumumab to be administered intravenously or subcutaneously.
The EMA submission is supported by two studies, the Phase 2 PLEIADES (MMY2040) study and the Phase 3 COLUMBA (MMY3012) study. Both studies found that subcutaneous daratumumab had comparative effectiveness to IV daratumumab. In the subcutaneous arm, infusion times were quicker for patients and they also found a lesser incidence of “infusion-related reaction”, a common side-effect of daratumumab during the first infusion.
You can see the full Janssen press release here.